Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

San Francisco’s Most Anticipated Play of 2013: A.C.T.’s “Black Watch” – A Must-See – Runs Through June 16th

Friday, May 10th, 2013

This is it. This is your San Francisco Theatre Performance of the Year.

It’s Black Watch from Scotland.

It’s down in the Armory, in the Mission. If you show up late, they won’t let you in. 110 minutes, no intermission. And, oh yeah, all the tickets cost $100.

But everyone seems to love it. 

Get your tickets now if you want to go.

Look, it’s getting attention already:

Chad Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle

Karen D-Souza of the San Jose Mercury News

Georgia Rowe of the San Francisco Examiner

A shot from yesterday’s press preview at The Drill Court:

By  Brenden Mendoza – thanks!

All right, see you there!

Handy Guide: How to listen to Scootish People.

Here’s where it’s at:

The Armory Community Center
333 14th Street (between Mission and Valencia)
San Francisco, CA 94103

View a larger map and get directions

Use the Bay Area’s 511 TakeTransit Trip Planner to get public transit information.

For more information about public transportation and parking lot options please visit the Black Watch show page.

All the deets: 

National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch

May 9–June 16, 2013
A Revolutionary Theatrical Event

by Gregory Burke
Directed by John Tiffany

Performing in the Armory Community Center, located in San Francisco’s Mission District at 333 14th Street (between Mission and Valencia).

THERE WILL BE NO LATE SEATING!
Please plan appropriate travel time when making arrangements.

Running time:
1 hour and 50 minutes with no intermission

The internationally acclaimed hit—named “#1 Theatrical Event of the Year!”
by the New York Times
After transfixing audiences across the globe and receiving unanimous critical acclaim worldwide, National Theatre of Scotland’s revolutionary production of Black Watch makes its highly anticipated Bay Area premiere. Inspired by interviews with soldiers who served in Iraq with Scotland’s nearly 300-year-old Black Watch regiment, this hauntingly powerful depiction of war is so inventive and groundbreaking in scope that it demands a completely unique performance venue—and will take over the long-dormant Drill Court at San Francisco’s historic Mission Armory. Splicing together exquisitely deployed stagecraft, from choreographed marches and Scottish ballads to searing video news footage, Black Watch captures the layered state of being at war, from moment to gripping moment. A transformative theatrical event you don’t want to miss, Black Watch delivers a visceral, unforgettable experience.

Performances of Black Watch will take place in the Armory Community Center, located in San Francisco’s Mission District., located at 333 14th Street (between Mission and Valencia). Click here for directions.

“Thrilling . . . a necessary reminder of the transporting power that is unique to theater.” —The New York Times

“A genuine spectacle that revels in its own theatricality and comes replete with music, marching, explosive effects and its own piper.” —Chicago Tribune

“Magnificent” —New York Observer

“Enthralling” —Washington Post

“★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ! The world must see this play. Immediately.” —The Herald (Scotland)

“★ ★ ★ ★ ★! Fierce, passionate, and unguarded” —The Guardian

“A landmark event” —The Independent (London)

“A glorious piece of theater—raw, truthful, uncomfortable, moving, graceful and dynamic” —Scotland on Sunday

“Stirring and absorbing” —The West Australian

“A pulsating epic” —Daily Mail

Now’s the Time to Get Your Tickets for the San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker – Great Seats Avail – Starting at $20

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Our excellent San Francisco Ballet‘s excellent production of The Nutcracker is back again for 2012.

And the reviews are in:

S.F. Ballet Reigns With Nutcracker

Tis the Season

Two ‘Nutcracker’ versions convey tradition

S.F. Ballet presents the classiest ‘Nutcracker’ of all

But all the fun is leaving us on December 28th, 2012, so the time to act is now.

And I should say that you’ll be able to get seats for just $20 and great seats are still available but those great seats will cost you a bit more.

But this show is a must-see, a great annual San Francisco tradition, so what are you waiting for.

And there’s the snow – lots and lots and lots of snow. You won’t believe how much snow:

Click to expand

All right, see you there!

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Yelp Throws Down: Starts Up a Shame Campaign Against Businesses That Pay For Positive Reviews

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

So basically Yelp is now announcing a new shame campaign against businesses what break the rules to get an inflated Yelp rating.

(I’ll tell you, I’ve never seen footnotes in a press release before, but that’s how area Yelp flack Stephanie Ichinose rolls, I guess)

Check it:

“Yelp Rolls Out Consumer Alerts to Educate and Inform Consumers

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 18, 2012  – Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP), the company that connects people with great local businesses, announced today that it will be taking additional steps to protect consumers from biased reviews. The company will place a consumer alert message on a business’s profile page when it determines that there have been significant efforts to purchase fake reviews to mislead consumers.

“Yelp has become so influential in the consumer decision making process that some businesses will go to extreme lengths to bolster their reviews,” said Eric Singley, vice president of consumer products and mobile, Yelp. “While our filter already does a great job of highlighting the most useful content, we think consumers have a right to know when someone is going to great lengths to mislead them.”

The consumer alert will call attention to attempts to purchase reviews for a business profiled on Yelp. When consumers click on the alert, we will show them screenshots exposing the effort to mislead our users.

The alert will be removed from the business’s Yelp page after 90 days, unless evidence of ongoing efforts is discovered, which may renew the warning period. Initially, nine businesses will have the consumer alert message posted on their profile page, but the company will be posting alerts like these on an ongoing basis as warranted.

Beyond alerting consumers to attempts to purchase reviews, the next step in Yelp’s Consumer Alert program will be to let consumers know if a business has had a large number of reviews submitted from the same Internet Protocol (IP) address, which can be a helpful indicator that they lack authenticity. While the review filter already takes this type of information into account, we believe that consumers also have a right to know if this activity is going on.

Consumer trust is essential to the utility of a user-generated review service. Since early 2005, Yelp has taken an aggressive stance to protect the quality of the content on its site, namely in the form of its review filter which aims to highlight reviews that are helpful and reliable. This automated program is applied continually and equally to all reviews submitted to Yelp. Reviews that have been flagged by the filter can be viewed by users if desired. Yelp has become a trusted source for more than 78 million monthly visitors in large part because of this focused quality-over-quantity approach.

An independent Businessweek(i) report confirmed the success of Yelp’s efforts to protect consumers. The article details the efforts of a Texan business owner who purchased 200 online reviews in an attempt to artificially bolster his business’s online reputation. The report found that Yelp’s review filter returned “impressive results” catching every purchased review, while the shill reviews remained up on seven other review sites.

Academic studies from Harvard Business School(ii )and UC Berkeley(iii), have demonstrated the impact a business’s Yelp reviews can have on its success. These findings indicate a strong incentive for some businesses to try to game the system, and explain why Yelp must continue to innovate in the steps it takes to protect consumers.

Yelp exists to help consumers find and support local businesses. In its ongoing efforts to help local business owners make the most of their presence on Yelp, the company has built a robust online resource (biz.yelp.com) and offers regular workshops for business owners, both via webinars and locally in more than a dozen cities across the US.

About Yelp

Yelp Inc. connects people with great local businesses. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004. Since then, Yelp communities have taken root in major metros across the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Sweden Denmark, Norway, Finland, Singapore and Poland. Yelp had a monthly average of approximately 78 million unique visitors in Q2 2012(iv). By the end of the same quarter, Yelpers had written more than 30 million rich, local reviews, making Yelp the leading local guide for everything from boutiques and mechanics to restaurants and dentists. Yelp’s mobile applications were used on approximately 7.2 million unique mobile devices on a monthly average basis during Q2 2012. For more information please email press@yelp.com.

(i) Source: BusinessWeek “A Lie Detector Test for Online Reviewers”, Karen Weise (September 29, 2011)

(ii) Source: Harvard Business School, Michael Luca (October 2011)

(iii) Source: The Economic Journal, Michael Anderson and Jeremy Magruder (March 2012)

(iv) Source: Google Analytics”

I’ll tell you, shame works. Just look what my local bodega did to me after I passed a whole bunch of bad checks, you know, to get delicious Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and the occasional Cheetos Natural Puffs White Cheddar. They posted them for tout le monde to see:

Via Big Rye

All the shame is making me consider not defrauding area business, you know, someday.

Anyway, Yelp is disciplining a total of nine bidnesses in all of Yelp-land, for sdtarters anyway.

Is that enough to stop Yelp Fraud?

Say Aloha Forever to Hukilau at Geary and Masonic, But Now Say Hello to “The Corner Store” – It’s Bustling!

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Hukilau is gone, long gone. (The City done closed it down for good.)

But in its place at 5 Masonic and Geary at the top of the tunnel and at the top of Mervyn’s Heights comes The Corner Store.

See?

I’ll tell you it was a beehive of activity last night in this otherwise sleepy part of town. And the Yelp Elites are handing out their five-star reviews already.

Now let’s hear about TCS from:

Dana Massey-Todd

The Thrillist

Welcome to the ‘hood, The Corner Store.

Bon Courage!

OMG, It’s “War Horse” at Our Curran Theatre – A Spectacle – Positive to Enthusiastic Reviews – Ends Sept. 9th

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

I don’t know what you’re looking for in a play, but how’s this?

2011 Tony Awards:
  • Best Play
  • Best Direction (Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris)
  • Best Scenic Design (Rae Smith, winner)
  • Best Lighting Design (Paule Constable, winner)
  • Best Sound Design (Christopher Shutt, winner)

In addition, Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones of Handspring Puppet Company won the Special Tony Award for War Horse.

So yeah, War Horse at our SHN Curran Theatre is a puppet show based on a children’s book, but it looks amazing.

Speaking of which, here’s SFPD horse “Hammer” meeting SHN horse puppet “Joey” the other day in Golden Gate Park – check the video:

Click to expand – more deets on this equine experiment from Kavin Fagan here

And, the reviews:

Miracles abound in the electrifying “War Horse per Robert Hurwitt of the San Francisco Chronicle

A theatrical coup” per long-time San Francisco critic Janos Gereben

It’s “spellbinding” per Karen D’Souza of the San Jose Mercury News

War Horse earns its stripesper Ken Marks of KQED

War Horse is the one touring show that shouldn’t be missed“ per Cy Ashley Webb of the Stark Insider

Four stars out of five per Albert Goodwyn, SF Performing Arts Examiner

It’s a great show. You (and your kin aged 12 and up) ought to go see it.

And oh, BTW, if you don’t already have tickets for The Book of Mormon, you know, the Best Musical of the Century (already!) per the New York Times, well, it’s time to start freaking out. You can’t buy tickets now because the only way to do that is to get a subscription for the 2012-2013 season (you know, Lion King, Wicked, etc.) but here’s the catch: SOLD OUT, baby! Already. So you’re going to need to move move move when individual tickets go on sale, whenever that will be. BoM, which is, fundamentally, a “love letter to religion written by an atheist,” however foul-mouthed it may be, will only be here for five short weeks. Every last show will sell out, just saying.

Forget About the Google Bus, ‘Cause the “Soogle Bus” is Almost as Good! But Don’t Read the Racist Yelp Reviews

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Here it is, as promised, the Soogle Bus:

Click to expand

But uh oh, here’s what you’ll find these days on the Yelp:

“I’ve never even been on one of their buses, but I observed one of their drivers this evening on Hawthorne Street driving aggressively, honking the horn continuously at the car in front of him and overall behaving like a jerk.

“Although the shuttle and driver were booked for 8 hours, the shuttle driver refused to drive at points of the evening! At the end of the night, the driver tried to ask for more money than was agreed upon based on an old quote the company had given. I had to pull out my laptop to show him the email that his boss had sent me to prove that I did not need to pay him more.”

“Horrible.  This is NOT a real travel/ tour service. They constantly ask for more money and CASH. They are disrespectful and RUDE. They throw litter around, and stand around and smoke. They speak almost no English.”

And that doesn’t include the reviews what were taken down or the ones currently on the “filtered” page.

Poor Soogle!

OMG, Les Miserables Debuts, Once Again, at the Orpheum Theatre – Standing Ovations – A Really Big Show

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The debut of the 25th Anniversary production of Boublil & Schönberg’s LES MISÉRABLES was a huge success at our Orpheum Theatre last night.

Man, this show is big.

(So, as I said yesterday, get your tickets at SHN now - they’re not getting any cheaper and this musical leaves us on August 26th, 2012.)

Now here’s Emily L’s review from the Orchestra Section’s Row U:

“Extraordinary musical! Les Miz is a beautiful story of a man’s life struggles, portraying bourgeois issues such as poverty, child abuse, prostitution and other political corruption in 1800 France. I was instantly enthralled from the very first scene of the show. This cast is amazing and captivating in every way. The voices went with each characters’ every movement and the visual sets were stunning. The orchestra seating was a special treat as the sound resonated throughout, spot on with the actors. In 2 hours, Les Miz will bring out smiles, pains, laughs, cries, ‘aww’s, and cheers – it’s a roller coaster ride definitely worth riding at least once!“ 

So there you have it.

Les Miz reminds me of that other famous, long-running show, Phantom of the Opera, in a way. But guess who says Les Miz is “far superior?” It’s Steven Winn of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Vive ‘Les Miz’: Pop opera returns to S.F.”

Now let’s hear from Food Fashionista Mika Takeuchi, who also caught yesterday’s debut:

“Les Misérables @shnSF. Entire cast deserved standing ovation, but WOW -Javert @AndrewVarela525 & Jean Valjean @Peter_Lockyer - mesmerizing!”

And here’s Diane Dwyer of NBC Bay Area:

“Just saw #lesmiserables‬ @shnsf at the Orpheum – perfection – standing ovation .. Highly recommend it!”

All right, see you there!

“Cameron Mackintosh presents a brand new 25th anniversary production of Boublil & Schönberg’s legendary musical, LES MISÉRABLES, with glorious new staging and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo. This new production has been acclaimed by critics, fans and new audiences and is breaking box office records wherever it goes.

Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, LES MISÉRABLES is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit. The magnificent score of LES MISÉRABLES includes the classic songs “I Dreamed a Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars,” “Bring Him Home,” “Do You Hear the People Sing?,” “One Day More,” “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” “Master Of The House” and many more.

For more information, visit: www.lesmiz.com.”

This could be you:

 

OMG, Onegin at the San Francisco Ballet is Fantastic! A Must-See! But There are Just Four Performances Left

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

If you’ve never seen ballet before,* this is it. This week is your last chance to see the debut performances of Onegin from our world-class San Francisco Ballet in our world-class War Memorial Opera House.

The plot is super simple – it’s easy to follow along. So, as Sean Martinfield points out, you shouldn’t expect a bunch of twists and turns and “resolving climaxes.”

No matter, this production is VERY IMPRESSIVE.

Get your tickets here for tonight or Wednesday or Thursday or Friday. And then it will be gone, before you know it. And then you’ll have the rest of this full-spectrum season to consider.

Vitor Luiz & Maria Kochetkova in Onegin – Photo © Erik Tomasson

Oh, the reviews are in:

Mary Ellen Hunt in the San Francisco Chronicle;

Ann Murphy in the San Jose Mercury News;

Saturday Matinee;

ART Hound; and

Odette’s Ordeal (Wow, there’s a lot of stuff here. Is Teri McCollum going to see four shows in this run? Wow.) 

All right, see you there! 

TUESDAY, 1/31

Onegin: Vitor Luiz; Tatiana: Maria Kochetkova; Lensky: Gennadi Nedvigin; Olga: Clara Blanco. Conductor: Martin West. Performance begins at 8:00 pm.

WEDNESDAY, 2/1

Onegin: Davit Karapetyan; Tatiana: Vanessa Zahorian; Lenksy: Taras Domitro; Olga: Dana Genshaft; Gremin: Quinn Wharton. Conductor: David LaMarche. Performance begins at 7:30 pm.

THURSDAY, 2/2

Onegin: Pierre-Francois Vilanoba; Tatiana: Sarah Van Patten; Lensky: Isaac Hernandez; Olga: Courtney Elizabeth; Gremin: Tiit Helimets. Conductor: David LaMarche. Performance begins at 8:00 pm.

FRIDAY, 2/3

Onegin: Ruben Martin Cintas; Tatiana: Yuan Yuan Tan; Lensky: Jaime Garcia Castilla; Olga: Dores Andre; Gremin: Damian Smith. Conductor: Martin West. Performance begins at 8:00 pm. 

* And if it turns out you don’t like what you see, then you don’t like ballet. And that’s fine, at least you tried. And how much money will you be out, like double the cost of going to see Ernest Goes to Camp II 3D at the Metreon? Something like that.

UC Davis School of Law Professor Emeritus Cruz Reynoso to Chair Task Force on OccupyDavis Pepper Spray Incident

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Well here’s the news of the day:

“Former state Supreme Court Justice and UC Davis School of Law Professor Emeritus Cruz Reynoso is the first member of task force that will review report about UC Davis pepper spraying from ex-L.A. police chief William Bratton.”

I, for one, am prepared to allow our UC some breathing room on this one. Let’s give them a little while and then see what they come up with, on both this incident and the prior UC Berkeley baton incident, m’kay?

Click to expand

“Cruz Reynoso chairs task force on pepper spray incident
Date: 2011-11-28
University of California President Mark G. Yudof announced today (Nov. 28) the appointment of former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso to chair the task force formed to address the pepper spraying of UC Davis students.Reynoso, a UC Davis law professor emeritus who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000, will be “absolutely fair,” Yudof said.The task force is part of UC’s efforts to address policing issues in the wake of the Nov. 18 pepper spraying of UC Davis students and other incidents involving law enforcement officers and protesters. Acting in response to a written request from UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, Yudof last Tuesday announced that former Los Angeles police chief William J. Bratton would lead an independent fact-finding of the pepper spray incident and report back the results to him within 30 days.Bratton, who also led the New York City police department, now heads the New York-based Kroll consulting company as chairman. He is a renowned expert in progressive community policing. Assembly Speaker John A. Perez also had made a request to Yudof and UC Regents Chair Sherry Lansing for an independent investigation.Under the plan, Bratton’s report also will be presented to the task force that Yudof is forming, again at Katehi’s request. The task force will consist of a cross-section of students, faculty, staff and other UC community members. Reynoso is the first member named to the task force. The task force will review the report and make recommendations to Katehi on steps that should be taken to ensure the safety of peaceful protesters on campus. She will present her implementation plan to Yudof.

Reynoso, a farmworker’s son, rose from an Orange County barrio to become the first Latino to serve on the California Supreme Court. He has a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College and a law degree from UC Berkeley. His distinguished career includes serving as director of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, a UCLA law school professor and as vice chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He joined the UC Davis law school faculty in 2001 as the inaugural holder of its Boochever and Bird Chair for the Study and Teaching of Freedom and Equality.

In remarks at the regents meeting today, Yudof reiterated his support for protecting the right to peaceful protests on campus and emphasized that Bratton’s investigation will be independent.

Last Tuesday, in a separate effort, Yudof also appointed UC General Counsel Charles Robinson and UC Berkeley School of Law Dean Christopher Edley Jr. to lead a systemwide examination of police protocols and policies as they apply to protests at all 10 UC campuses. The review is expected to result in recommended best practices for policing protests across the 10 UC campuses.

For more information about how UC is addressing policing and protest issues, visit www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/26713.”

University of California President Mark Yudof Throws Down: New System-Wide Examination of Police Protocols

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Well, first there was this:

And then there was this:

Via Louise Macabitas – click to expand

So. now there’s this:

President Yudof launches initiatives to address policing and protests

 University of California President Mark G. Yudof moved on two fronts today (Tuesday, Nov. 22) to address policing issues in the wake of the pepper spraying of UC Davis students and other incidents involving law enforcement officers and protesters.

Acting in response to a written request from UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, Yudof agreed to conduct a thorough review of the events of Nov. 18 on the Davis campus.

As a first step, Yudof reached out to former Los Angeles police chief William J. Bratton to undertake an independent fact-finding of the pepper spray incident and report back the results to him within 30 days.

Bratton, who also led the New York City police department, now heads the New York-based Kroll consulting company as chairman. He also is a renowned expert in progressive community policing.

“My intent,” Yudof said, “is to provide the Chancellor and the entire University of California community with an independent, unvarnished report about what happened at Davis.”

Assembly Speaker John A. Perez also had made a request to President Yudof and UC Regents Chair Sherry Lansing for an independent investigation.

Under the plan, Bratton’s report also will be presented to an advisory panel that Yudof is forming, again at Katehi’s request. The panel will consist of a cross-section of students, faculty, staff and other UC community members.

The advisory panel, whose members will be announced at a later date, will review the report and make recommendations to Chancellor Katehi on steps that should be taken to ensure the safety of peaceful protesters on campus. She will present her implementation plan to President Yudof.

On a second track, Yudof appointed UC General Counsel Charles Robinson and UC Berkeley School of Law Dean Christopher Edley Jr. to lead a system-wide examination of police protocols and policies as they apply to protests at all 10 UC campuses.

This effort will include visits to campuses for discussions with students, faculty and staff, and consultation with an array of experts.

The review is expected to result in recommended best practices for policing protests across the 10 UC campuses.

“With these actions,” Yudof said, “we are moving forward to identify what needs to be done to ensure the safety of students and others who engage in non-violent protests on UC campuses. The right to peaceful protest on all of our campuses must be protected.”